There has been a lot of back stepping and moving sideways for a season which proclaimed there is “nowhere to move but up” and yet it does feel like some progress has been made amidst the flailing on Girls. Professional and personal crisis go hand in hand for Hannah, particularly during the first half of the season when she was in Iowa. Admitting this academic program wasn’t right for her felt like a victory in defeat, which quickly hit a different rock bottom upon arriving home to find her boyfriend Adam had already moved on to someone else.
Upheaval has been a key component of season 4 both emotionally and geographically as Hannah come to terms with this next stage of adulthood. Faking it isn’t relegated to just one period of time in your life; however acknowledging this unhappiness could lead to the upward momentum the key art suggested would take place this year for Hannah Horvath and her friends.
Hannah has since found a job she is good at with a few caveats pertaining to boundaries, but her personal life remains chaotic as she navigates both singledom and the news her father is gay. Dealing with the latter in a fashion that isn’t very Hannah as she isn’t making it all about her and while she doesn’t want all the details she is supportive to both of her parents in crisis. One new friendship Hannah has developed highlights her inability to fully embrace being an adult as she gets into an argument with her student and new bestie Cleo in the hallway over unanswered texts; I know most of your friends are awful Hannah but hanging out with teens is not the way forward. The fake collar/real collar thing is definitely working for you though. Plus that’s a nifty boater hat (good work Shosh).
The final scene in “Daddy Issues” perfectly sums up not just this season, but the four years we’ve been following this group of friends as Marnie in typical Marnie awful fashion makes a night that has nothing to do with her all about her, while maintaining how she is sorry to interrupt. Hannah rather astutely comments on this moment with “She is so not sorry to interrupt” and the comments which follow are super honest and bleak; these two characters are not really real friends and therefore don’t feel the need to soak everything in bs. Ray for a brief moment pretends he is really happy for Marnie before conceding that yep he is faking this reaction. Hannah goes one step further with “I’m faking everything” and we’re going into the season 4 finale on a somewhat nihilistic note.
Master manipulator and probably the person who is faking it the most is Jessa and in a rare moment we get to see through this facade. Jessa has been The Worst for most of this season (Marnie takes the crown this week) and she gives us insight into why she behaves in this way; Jessa doesn’t do well when she thinks linking back to her addiction issues. Ah yes they made Jessa such an asshole this season and bordering on sociopathy – she broke up her best friend’s relationship just so she could get with a guy – that it has been increasingly hard to empathize with her and also understand why they hell anyone is still friends with her, even with all that history. History only gives you a certain amount of free passes and Jessa used those up a long time ago and yet here she still is. And I did feel an ounce of sympathy for her in this moment, good work show.
One pair who doesn’t feel the need to lie to each other and have become this whole non-romantic thing (even if I still ship them) is Ray and Shoshanna. Shoshanna has been set adrift post college as she struggles to find something she wants to do and faking it through interviews has worked in her favor and been unsuccessful all at once. Shoshanna is the ultimate chameleon switching up her look depending on the theme of the scenario. Take how she has been dressing while helping Ray with his campaign in red, white and blue.
Being brutally honest is a Shoshanna trait so while she can make herself seem like the perfect candidate for a job she will follow it up with a statement regarding how much she doesn’t want to work for your blog. She also has no problem showing her disdain for the crush you are harboring and this actually made me snort laugh
Perhaps the truest words spoken all season. And what about Marnie and her big news? Marnie is the only one in a long-term romantic union, but considering how awful her relationship with Desi is it doesn’t have signs of longevity. Starting with being the woman Desi cheated on his girlfriend with – there is no way Desi was the dumper in this situation – how they are on opposing pages when it comes to the sound they are creating or what they should do with their money and realizing that he is an asshole should be enough alarm bells, but nope Marnie is diving into this whole musician couple fantasy with both feet.
Everything is scattered emotionally going into the season finale and the release from admitting how much Hannah is faking (all of it) opens up the potential for this character and what direction she might go in. This year has been messy in structure and story; it also happens to be the most I have sympathized and understood Hannah with this final gut punch exchange with Ray delivering an unexpected heartbreaking tone. Last season ended on a semi-triumphant tone with a win in the career column and uncertainty with Adam now both these things have shifted dramatically so while Hannah might not consider this year to be a triumphant one, I do think she has come a long way and she will hopefully end the season moving onward and upward.